Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Damaged But Not Broken

I have a reputation for many things - both good and bad. In some cases, my best traits can lead to the worst of circumstances; like when I forget my limitations and try to repair my own shit. A kitchen chair crashes to the floor in the middle of a girls night at my house with my best friend in it. Or when I tear down a game system, thinking I can repair it on my own. I recently messed up this very blog in a desperate attempt to make it more visually appealing.

My boyfriend, who has been called a tech-genius in my presence, who has all the tools and knows how to use them - offered to fix a few of these items for me but it came with the caveat that I promise to keep my mitts off them after they have been restored to working order. He loves me. He appreciates my confidence and applauds my tenacity. He can see my gutsy determination and he knows it's a good thing in spite of the damage it can leave in its wake. He likes that I'm a spunky little scrapper. Right baby?

I spent this past Labor Day weekend with some friends of mine at their gorgeous, relaxing lakefront home. They freely accept me and even seem to like me a lot in spite of the mixed-up laws of nature that seem to plague me. They know me as a leader in my industry, a self made woman who had no help getting there. No sugar daddy, no wealthy parents, not even a child support check - just me and my chutzpah making our way in the world.

I think they get a perverse pleasure in seeing this remarkably talented, successful woman make a fool of herself. Who wouldn't? In this case, it really must have been a sight to see. I had begged them to let me ride one of their scooters around the lake. This was no sissy Moped - it was big, and red and dangerous. Well, perhaps not so dangerous but they knew it COULD be in my hands.

I received a tutorial from Dave - the motorcycle mad man - on how to go, stop, turn - you know, the basics. I placed my helmet on and mounted the machine while making jokes about finally being a biker bitch. I felt powerful and ready to tear up the road. Cue the music....Get your motor running.....wait, take a few pictures for posterity, okay let's go. Not willing to send me out on my own, Vicki led the way.
We turned left out of the driveway and came to our first stop. It was shaky, coordinating the brakes with my hands while knowing when to put my feet down - but I did it. Vicki then informs me we're going to make a slight left, then a sharp right ahead to get around a curve. She takes off slowly with me putzing along closely behind her. I remember my brain thinking we were turning left but my hands were not receiving the message. Turn, baby turn. Turn you mother fucker.

By this time, my eyes have locked on to the ditch that now seems to beset me. I have lost all cognitive reasoning - you know, that part of my brain that should have accessed the aforementioned braking skills. It was gone. Suddenly, it felt as if I were under a gravitational pull. It's the same gravitational pull that takes over when I tee off near a body of water or a sand trap. The ball is drawn to the obstacle just as I am now being magnetically drawn to the ditch.

The rest happens in slow motion......there's gravel under my tires.....I'm still thinking turn.......I'm still forgetting the brake option.......the tires are now past the gravel.....I scream "VICKI"...........into the ditch.......still no brakes.......hit the coming off the bike.......over the handlebars......into a wooden fence.

Vicki is there with concern in her eyes. She's got to be thinking - dumb ass bitch just ditched my scooter but she's not letting on. She helps me up and brushes me off. There are clumps of dirt and grass now stuck in the sides of my cool biker bitch helmet. She tells me she's going to call Dave to come get us. No, I insist - no way. I've got to get right back on and Vicki, I say, Vicki uhm.....this time, I think we need to go faster.

I could quite clearly hear the misfires occurring within the synapses of Vicki's brain as she struggled to process this new request of mine. Her eyes were darting back and forth quickly as she continued to filter through the warning messages flashing in her mind's eye. You have encountered a fatal error in this program, do you wish to delete? She couldn't speak, so I continued. See Vicki, if you had gone faster then I would have been able to accelerate and then I could have turned to avoid the ditch, see - don't you see it? I need to get back on and go faster.

Vicki had to be thinking, "no (pause), no you would have just gone into the ditch faster"...but she didn't say it. She was still at a loss for words.

While this is happening, the neighborly man across the street had come out of his house and pulled the bike out of the ditch. Realizing she had no choice, she let me get back on and drive back to their house. We had been gone for a span of around 10 minutes. Dave met us in the driveway. His spidey senses were telling him something wasn't right. As a former paramedic, Dave insisted on checking me out. No shock, no broken bones, just bruised, battered and still bitchin'.

He finished picking the dirt and grass off of me, cleaned up the scooter; which like me, was dirty but still worked. He placed my helmet back on my head and told Vicki to take me out again and this time go faster and stay to the right. No more left turns. We went around the lake several times, stopped at the diner to visit with the locals. I showed everyone my biker wounds. I was told I was now a member of a select club. See, I knew I was secretly a biker bitch.

Later, we drove back to ground zero hoping to find my sunglasses. They were still there - hanging askew from the fence I had nearly impaled myself upon. They were damaged but not broken. Exactly like me.


  1. Dearest Angela. You have a gift. To relive that few moments of time was a joy....of course, I was not black & blue after the event. As you know, I love you and cannot wait until your next death defying trip to On Golden Pond.

  2. Thanks Vicki. Maybe next time you'll let me ride one of the Harley's - NOT!

  3. Hmmmm.....a Harley? You have to make a most special request of Dave - the motorcycle mad man......I would not get my hopes up!

  4. I can picture it now, because I have seen you "swim"...

  5. Oh man, was that necessary? Now I'm going to have to write a post about nearly drowning but saving the Corona in my hand. I could include my ability to sleep face down on a wooden deck!


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